If you’re not familiar with Alfajores, they are a sandwich cookie filled with Dulce de Leche (a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk) and popular in South America.
I consider myself to be a very lucky person….because I live in the bay area and can easily find Buenos Aires Alfajores at local coffee shops and farmers markets. They are delicious! The best alfajores I have ever had.
Ever since I discovered Buenos Aires Alfajores, I’ve been experimenting with different alfajores recipes. I wanted something relatively easy, but delicious. I came up with two combination I really like. One is a cocoa cinnamon flavor and the other is vanilla brandy.
Today I’m sharing the Vanilla Brandy recipe I like to use. It’s inspired and influenced by a variety of sources.
Dulce de Leche
- I typically don’t make my own Dulce de Leche ’cause……I’m not very good at it. YET!!!! I typically don’t cook it long enough and the texture doesn’t come out thick enough, causing the cookies to slide apart, like a melting ice-cream sandwich. Not to mention, most grocery stores that sell canned dulce de leche sell it for less than the price of their sweetened condensed milk. However, If you live in an area where you can’t easily attain dulce de leche, you may prefer making your own. If I ever master the task of making dulce de leche, I’ll be sure to pass on some pointers.
Cookie texture/ tops
- I find that the tops of these cookies often come out bumpy. So, don’t be surprised if yours do. I think it’s because of the brandy. The cocoa cinnamon batches I’ve made haven’t had this problem. However, once you dust them with powdered sugar, no one can tell.
Making alfajores is relatively simple
Sift and set aside your dry ingredients
Cream butter and sugar, and add eggs one at a time
Thoroughly combine the eggs with the butter and sugar mixture
Add your dry ingredients in 3 parts (stir in the last third)
Chill, roll, and cut out your cookie dough
prepare your cookie sheets and chill before baking
Bake, cool, and fill your cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 table spoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- approximately ¾ cup granulated sugar (you can use slightly less based on your preference)
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1tsp brandy (optional)
- 1 can dulce de leche
- powdered sugar/ confectioners sugar for dusting
- Medium bowl and small bowls
- Mixing bowl and electric mixer
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- ¼ inch even dough rings/ rolling pin bands (optional)
- 1.5 -2 inch circle cutter
- 2 or more cookie sheets
- parchment paper and/or silicone mats
- Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed until smooth and light.
- Add the egg and egg yolk one at a time. With each additions, scrape down sides of the bowl and mix until well combined
- Add brandy and vanilla and mix
- Add a third of the sifted flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and mix on low
- Add in the second third of the flour mixture and mix on low
- Add the remainder of the flour mixture and mix. You may prefer to mix in this last bit with a spatula
- Remove bowl from mixer and use your hands to form a disk with the dough.
- Wrap the disk shaped dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a ¼ inch thick. I like to roll out just a little bit at a time, about ¼ of the dough.
- Use a round cutter between 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter and place cookies on the cookie sheet (they won’t spread much, but give them at least ¾ of and inch of spacing between cookies)
- Chill your fist sheet of cookies in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes while you prepare your second sheet. This will help them keep shape when baked, making it easier to match them up to make the sandwiches.
- Once the dough of your first sheet of cookies is firm, place it in the center of the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes. If the edges of your cookies are starting to brow, its time to take them out. The cookies are typically an pale color.
- Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for at about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Repeat prepare and bake the remainder of your dough.
- Once your cookies have all been baked and have cooled completely, you may either fill them with dulce de leche, or store them in an airtight container for up to a day and fill them at a later time.
17. To fill the cookies, I like to use the back of a small spoon to place a dollop of the filling on the center of one cookie and then carefully sandwich the cookies together allowing the filling to spread towards the edges. Should your filling overflow past the edges of your cookies, you may use your finger tip to tidy up the edges. Just keep a damp paper towel handy to clean off your fingers. Use several short strokes, cleaning off your fingertip with each stroke. If you try using one long swoop, you’ll probably end up getting the dulce de lecheall over the sides of your sandwiches.
Finish off your cookies by dusting them with powdered sugar.